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18 things Vista & XP need to beat Linux & Mac OS X

What Windows needs to be the best once more

There's no doubt that Microsoft Windows is the biggest and the most widely used PC operating system - but it's not necessarily the best. Here are 18 things we'd like to see as standard in the next Windows.

ISO burning

Available on: Mac, Linux, PC-BSD

Mac OS can do it. Linux can do it. PC-BSD and just about every other modern OS can do it. But for some reason, Windows can't burn an ISO disc image to CD without a little third-party help.

If you want to burn a CD image on occasion, but you don't want to buy premium disc-burning software, try the free ISO Recorder.

Available for XP and Vista, ISO Recorder adds disc-image burning to your context menu whenever you right-click on an ISO file. It's a lean, simple utility that does just what it's designed for and nothing more. ISO Recorder is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Vista, and the Vista versions support DVD burning in addition to CD burning.

Stickies

Available on: Mac, Linux

There's no shortage of applications and websites waiting to help you sort through your to-do list, but for our money, nothing beats a good, old-fashioned sticky note for sheer visibility. Macs have long come with an application called Stickies that adds the functionality to your desktop, letting you stick notes anywhere, color-code the virtual paper, and set the fonts to your liking.

Many Linux distributions come with a utility called TomBoy Notes, which takes the Stickies idea to the next level by integrating hyperlinking functions that make the notes great for brainstorming, too.

Technically speaking, Windows Vista now includes a similar feature in the form of the Notes gadget in the Windows Sidebar. This widget applet is a poor imitation of its Mac and Linux counterparts, however. For a sticky-note app that really pops, try Stickies for Windows. This simple, free, open-source program lets you customise your notes to your heart's content, and stick them anywhere on your desktop.

NEXT PAGE: Podcast capture and software repositories

  1. Apple's Exposé
  2. Virtual workspaces and remote computing
  3. How to screen share and use time machine in Windows
  4. Don't live without ISO burning and stickies when using Windows
  5. Podcast capture and software repositories
  6. Turn your desktop into a rotating cube
  7. Get automated and partial screenshots on your Windows PC
  8. Cover Flow and a pre-installed web server
  9. Enjoy POSIX compliance on your Windows PC
  10. Single file applications on Windows

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